Signs You May Need to see an Emergency Dentist

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When dealing with a severe dental problem, your dentist should be your first call.  Nevertheless, accidents often happen when most dental offices are closed such as on the weekend, late at night, or during the holidays.  If you have a dental emergency, contact Dr. Neela Patel at Houston Heights Dentistry. She is available to care for you in her practice in Houston, Texas.  She has over 25 years of experience in treating emergencies, and she leaves time in her schedule to see emergency patients.


Here are the most common types of Dental Emergencies and what you can do, prior to seeing a dentist.

Knocked-Out Tooth - (Adults should not have loose teeth.)  You should take quick action after your tooth or a portion of your tooth is knocked out. It’s possible your dentist can still preserve your tooth. Follow the recommendations as listed below:

  • Pick the tooth up by the top (also known as the crown), making sure you do not touch the root of the tooth. 
  • Gently rinse and remove any debris.
  • Place the tooth in a cup of milk as quickly as possible to help preserve it.
  • Take it to the dentist as soon as possible. 

Abscessed Tooth - A dental abscess is a severe dental emergency. A severe dental infection that is left untreated can cause an abscess.  Several symptoms you may experience include fever, toothache, a sour taste in your mouth, sensitivity to hot or cold, swelling of your face or gums, or a pimple-like bump on your gums. You may find it difficult to eat, drink or even swallow. Contact a dentist immediately. 

Cracked or Chipped Tooth – If it hurts to bite down or close your teeth together, then you may have cracked your tooth.  It is best to eat a soft or liquid diet and contact a dentist as soon as possible in order to try to save the tooth.  Take over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol for any discomfort.

Lost crown or filling – When a filling or crown comes out, there is a greater chance of having sensitivity on this tooth. There is usually an underlying infection or cavity that caused the restoration to become loose and come out in the first place. Be sure to rinse out with lukewarm water, and save any pieces. Although this is not always as painful as the other emergencies, it is still critical to see a dentist to prevent the infection from getting worse.

Things you can do to avoid potential Dental Emergencies.

  1. Wear a mouthguard when you play sports like basketball, baseball or football.
  2. Be careful when chewing or biting into hard foods such as rock candy, nuts, ice, bagels or crusty French bread, etc.
  3. Visit your dentist regularly for a periodic dental examination.  

When dealing with a dental emergency, it is of utmost importance to contact Houston Heights Dentistry to maintain your oral health. Dr. Patel is available by phone or email even on weekends and after hours.


* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.